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According to Toynbee: "Civilization ... is a movement and not a condition, a voyage and not a harbour." That idea runs throughout the book. In a very interesting essay, Toynbee asked: "Does History Repeat Itself?" One answer is this: "There is nothing to prevent our Western civilization from following historical precedent, if it chooses, by committing social suicide." What will it take to avoid our demise? Toynbee believed that "world government", the mixed economy, and a revival of religion were the keys to the salvation of Western civilization. Religion is prominent in Toynbee's perspective of history. He recommended that "If our first precept should be to study our own history, ... our second precept should be to relegate economic and political history to a subordinate place and give religious history the primacy. For religion, after all, is the serious business of the human race." Toynbee was prescient about the importance of Islam. "Thus the contemporary encounter between Islam and the West", he observed, "is not only more active and intimate than any phase of their contact in the past; it is also distinctive in being an incident in an attempt by Western man to `Westernize' the world---an enterprise which will possibly rank as the most momentous, and as certainly the most interesting, feature in the history even of a generation that has lived through two world wars.Read more ›